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November 21 2017
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Iran before the 1979 revolution

- Fascinating photos show models in miniskirts and the fashionable female film stars who were later banned from movies when strict Islamic laws were imposed -Daily Mail, UK - 11/21/17

Iran Earthquake Appeal 2017

- Current reports state that 530 lives have been lost with the death toll expected to rise, over 7,000 people are injured, hundreds of villages have been destroyed, and 1,950 villages have been impacted as a result of the 7.3 magnitude Kermanshah earthquake, the most devastating in the world this year. PKCF is joining forces with Nikan/Mammut charity in Iran and Children of Persia in USA by forming a consortium that will raise and distribute funds to help those affected by this powerful earthquake - 11/16/17

Kermanshah quake: tragedy, altruism, hope

- The quake-hit city of Kermanshah is now the stage of inextricably mixed tragic, altruistic and hopeful scenes. All rescue and relief forces along with military personnel and volunteers have joined hands to help the victims. While tragic scenes of people mourning the loss of their beloved family members are heartbreaking the incessant work of relief forces to help people still raise hope. -Tehran Times - 11/16/17

Encouraging the Adoption of Disabled Children is a Good Idea That Needs Better Planning

- A recent pledge by an Iranian official to provide financial assistance to families that adopt children with disabilities is a good idea that requires thoroughly examining the underlying issues and improving existing services, a children's rights activist told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 11/16/17

Anger Hits Boiling Point As Iranian Quake Survivors Left In The Cold

- Frustration is boiling over as earthquake survivors sleep outside in freezing temperatures, waiting for much-needed aid to reach devastated areas of Iran. "People here have nothing, nothing. No tents, no blankets, no food. There's nothing here. People are facing very tough conditions here. It's a crisis situation," one resident of Sarpol-e Zahab, a town in Iran's western Kermanshah Province that has been described as among the worst hit, told a journalist reporting from the scene. - 11/15/17

Photos: Ava is born in the midst of death and destruction caused by quake

- According to latest reports by Mehr News Agency, death toll for the devastating 7.3 magnitude earthquake on Iraq-Iran border has risen to 530, with 7460 reported as injured. But in the midst of the death and destruction, baby girl Ava was born on the second day after the quake in Sarpol-e Zahab, the Iranian city that suffered the most during the quake. Ava was born at the army field hospital setup in Sarpol-e Zahab, and she and brought cheers and smiles to everyone present at the tent. -by Ahmad Moeini Jam - 11/14/17

PHOTOS: Death And Destruction After Powerful Quake Near Iran-Iraq Border

- Rescue workers and desperate relatives dug through debris in a search for survivors after a powerful earthquake hit near the Iran-Iraq border. 395 Iranians were confirmed dead as of Monday afternoon. Over 6,650 others were also injured. Iran's Interior Ministry said on November 13 that most of the casualties were in Kermanshah Province, with residents reporting feeling the 7.3 magnitude quake throughout the region, from Turkey to Kuwait. - 11/13/17

Photos: Maskan-e Mehr government built affordable housing in Sarpol-e Zahab, Iran damaged severely in quake

- Users in Iranian social media are particularly angry about the news of damages and casualties from Sarpol-e Zahab. This town is home to a government built apartment complex known as "Maskan-e Mehr" that were constructed during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad presidency as an affordable housing project. These government housing complexes have been heavily damaged and angry users are asking questions about building safety standards. - 11/13/17

PHOTOS: Millions Of Shi'ite Pilgrims Throng Iraq's Karbala For Arbaeen Commemoration

- An estimated 14 million Shi'ite pilgrims thronged Iraq's holy city of Karbala on November 10 to mark the annual Arbaeen commemoration. Arbaeen is one of the biggest religious festivals on earth and marks the end of the 40-day mourning period for the 7th-century killing of Imam Hussein by the forces of the Caliph Yazid -- a formative event in Shi'ite Islam. The Arbaeen holiday is observed in Shi'ite communities worldwide, with large gatherings in Iran and southern Lebanon. - 11/11/17

Conference: Urban Planning and Civic Design in Modern Iran

- The main purpose and focus of the conference (held in London) will be on the evolution of urban planning and civic design in Iran from traditional to modern, with discussions and critical evaluations of the shortcomings, failures and successes of the process. Two major civic design projects of the period will also be presented and discussed: the 'Shahestān Pahlavi', and 'Urban Renewal of Mashhad City Centre'. - 11/10/17

UCLA receives $1 million for Elahe Omidyar Mir-Djalali postdoctoral fellowship in Iranian linguistics

- Adonation of $1 million from Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute will establish the Elahe Omidyar Mir-Djalali Postdoctoral Fellowship in Iranian Linguistics in the UCLA Department of Linguistics, one of the nation's top-ranked linguistics departments. - 11/7/17

"Isfahan, City of Polish Children" to go on stage in Tehran and Isfahan

- "Isfahan, City of Polish Children", a play centering on Polish people and children who took refuge in the central Iranian city of Isfahan during World War II, will go on stage in Isfahan and Tehran in late November. Written by Iranian dramatist Mohammad Charmshir, the play was performed previously by a cast of Polish and Iranian actors at the Grotowski Institute in the Polish city of Wroclaw during August 2015. - 11/1/17

Manolo Espaliu's Photo exhibit traces Spanish diplomat's mission to Iran in 17th century

- An exhibition of photos by Manolo Espaliu tracing the route to Iran followed by the Spanish diplomat Garcia de Silva Figueroa (1550-1624) during the 17th century opened Thursday at the Extremaduran and Latin American Museum of Contemporary Art (MEIAC) in Badajoz, Spain. - 10/30/17

Please Stop Using 'Woman in Chador Walks by Anti-US Mural' Stock Photo for Every Article About Iran

- The general mindlessness in choosing a stock photo is what makes them so pernicious. Editors reach for an image that captures the overall theme of the article while drawing the eye of distracted media consumers-typically as an afterthought, something that accents a piece rather than defines it. It's not an easy task, but it's one that, left unexamined, can become a form of propaganda independent of any written text. -Adam Johnson, FAIR.org - 10/24/17

The Many Flavors of Persian in Eurasia

- Is Tajik a dialect of Persian? Or a language in its own right? What differentiates it from varieties prevalent in Afghanistan and Iran? There is no easy answer to these questions because the very categories we use to think about language in Central Asia, and elsewhere, are insufficient. -James Pickett, LobeLog - 10/23/17

IRAN: The Historical Cradle of Civilization, the Origin of Human Diversity, and the Bastion of Humanistic Tolerance

- Ever since as early as a hundred thousand years ago when our Homo sapiens ancestors preceded by Homo helderbergenis along with our cousins the Neanderthals and Denisovans who had crossed the horn of Africa, the southwestern Asian's temperate Iranian plateau sandwiched between the Caspian Sea including the Caucuses, Alborz and the Himalayan Mountain ranges to the north, and the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman/Bushehr shores to the south-has remained the optimal cradle of human civilization. -Davood Rahni - 10/16/17

"Working Children" of Tehran celebrate National Children Day

- The State Welfare Organization held a ceremony in Tehran on Saturday for 500 working children to celebrate the National Children Day. Iran annually observes the National Children's Day on October 8 and the National Children's Week on October 7 to 13. - 10/9/17

Number of older persons in Iran grows 1.5-fold in a decade

- Census reports indicate that the number of persons, aged 60 years or older, has increased by 1.5-fold over the past decade (2006-2016) in Iran. In 2006, some 5.1 million people were 60 or older, but the number rose to 6.1 million in 2011 and to 7.4 million in 2016, ISNA reported. Currently, the country's total population stands at about 80 million, of which some 9.3 percent is 60 or older. - 10/3/17

Mehregan Conference & Celebration at University of California, Irvine

- Spirituality in Persian Poetry, A Lecture by Dr. Franklin Lewis. Iranian Female Writers Today, A Lecture by Dr. Nasrin Rahimieh. and Musical Performance By the SIBARG ENSEMBLE. Sunday October 8, 2017 - 10/2/17

Iran's Arrow: Don't miss this documentary about Iran's beloved Hillman Hunters

- We love cars that stay in overseas production for decades beyond what the designers intended; there's the Hindustan Ambassador (a 1956 Morris Oxford, built in India until 2014), the 1960 Ford Falcons built in Argentina through 1991, the Mexican-built Borgwards and many more. One of the all-time greatest -- maybe the all time-greatest -- of these cars is the Iran Khodro Paykan, essentially a 1966 Hillman Hunter, built in Iran well into our current century. -AutoWeek - 10/2/17

Wedding Ceremony of Iranian Acid Victim Goes Viral

- A young Iranian girl disfigured in an acid attack back in 2014 has gotten married, sparking widespread positive reactions in Iran's social media. Marzieh Ebrahimi, a young Iranian girl who fell victim to an acid attack years ago, has tied the knot. Her marriage has turned into the most high-profile one in the country, not because she is a celebrity or an artist, but because she is the victim of an acid attack. -IFP - 9/25/17

Females outnumber males by 13% in Iran's 2017 university admissions

- As the final results for the Iranian university entrance exam, also known as Konkur, was announced on Saturday, it was revealed that females outnumber males in gaining admission to higher education by 49,062, or 13 percent higher than males. Out of 378,706 participants who were admitted to the universities nationwide 213,884 (56.5%) are females and 164,822 (43.5%) are males - 9/17/17

World Heritage Volunteers help raise awareness of Persian qanats

- A cluster of World Heritage Volunteers has spotlighted essentials to conserve and promote Persian qanats, a UNESCO registered heritage that provides exceptional testimony to cultural traditions in desert areas with an arid climate. - 9/14/17

PHOTOS: Mariwan International Street Theater Festival in northwestern Iran

- The 12th Mariwan International Street Theater Festival has come to an end, with carnivals of Iranian and international artists marking the closing ceremony of the artistic event in the downtown of the Iranian Kurdish city. The four-day festival wrapped up on Tuesday in the northwestern city of Mariwan which is considered as Iran's capital of street theater. - 9/13/17

PHOTOS: Iranian nomads' wedding ceremony, symphony of colors

- Various ethnic groups or people of different regions of Iran have their own traditional weddings ceremonies. The Iranian nomads of Bakhtiari tribe celebrate their wedding ceremonies with clothes of diverse and vibrant colors. Photographer Farhad Safari has captured one such wedding for all to enjoy! - 9/12/17

Iran's 'city of mullahs' has a surprising side

- Before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, this city was pious and sedate. The late Iranian American poet Nader Naderpour once listed as its main features "women with scarves over their heads, men clad in clerical robes, a single golden dome, old storks in the sky, one spiritless garden, a handful of lonely trees." Qom became the bedrock of Iran's theocracy and remains one of the country's holiest places -Shashank Bengali and Ramin Mostaghim, Los Angeles Times - 9/8/17

Candlelight tribute held for Iranian schoolgirls killed in bus accident

- People lit up candles Friday night in sympathy with families of the schoolgirls who were killed as the bus carrying them rolled over early morning the same day. The bus with 45 female students onboard heading from the city of Bandar Abbas to the city of Darab, southern Iran, crashed at about 4 a.m. local time, killing 7 students, a teacher, and the driver's assistant. - 9/3/17

Tehran Tops Biggest Improvers In The Global Liveability Report 2017

- The city of Tehran is ranked first among the biggest improvers over the past years in terms of liveability, according to the Global Liveability Report 2017 published by the Intelligence Unit of The Economist. The concept of liveability is simple: it assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions. With 5 percent improvement in the past five years Tehran ranks 127 with overall rating of 50.8. - 8/29/17

PHOTOS: Ruin, village of warps and wefts

- Ruin, a village located in North Khorasan province, is home to women who still pursue the traditional arts and crafts of their ancestors, weaving, which began about 400 years ago and is one of the sources of income for the village. About 120 women weavers are currently actively engaged in this industry in Ruin. -Fatemeh Abedi - 8/23/17

How a Solar Eclipse Got Me Interested in Iran

- Unless you are a space geek like me, you might not be aware that the U.S. will experience a total solar eclipse next month -- the first one to occur over the continental U.S. in over 38 years! If you are in its path (or traveling to see it), I wish you clear skies! For me, a total solar eclipse elicits memories of my first trip to Iran in 1999 when I traveled there to view the last total solar eclipse of the millennium with a group organized by Search for Common Ground. -Stephanie Lester - 8/3/17

Celebration of Iranian Cinema Returns to UC Irvine

- The 2nd Annual CELEBRATION OF IRANIAN CINEMA in Orange County will be held at the University of California, Irvine August 25-27, 2017. - 8/2/17

TIRGAN 2017: The Arts and Culture Festival that Transcends borders and penetrates hearts

- Mesmerized by KamanChello playing, a duo string performance of the Persian Kamcheh and occidental Cello, the highly diverse audience comprised of not only Iranians from all walks of life and places, but also with the eminent presence of others including peace and justice loving mainstream Canadians, found themselves in twilight nostalgic and humanistic trance on earth and beyond. Tirgan 2017, the Iranian summer solstice festival ten years in the making in Toronto, had once again attracted 150,000 spectators which included many from the U.S. world down under, as well as from Europe and even Iran. -Davood N. Rahni - 8/1/17

Artist traces goats' place in history of Iranian culture

- The Paris-based Iranian painter Raheleh Roshandel intends to familiarize visitors to her new collection "Iranian Goats" with the place of the animal in the history of Iranian culture. Twenty works from the series that features goats in Iranian mythology, nomad life and some other fields were put on display in an exhibition at Tehran's Shokuh Gallery in mid-July. - 8/1/17

Iranian TV Personality Who Promoted Compulsory Islamic Dress Under Fire Over Photos

- A well-known Iranian television personality has been accused of hypocrisy after images of her in which she is not adhering to the country's Islamic dress code surfaced online. Presenter turned actress Azadeh Namdari has for years promoted compliance with the hijab, which in Iran refers to Islamic dress that covers the hair and body. In particular she has touted the wearing of the black chador, a garment that covers women from head to toe, leaving the face exposed. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/26/17

Iranians pushing boundaries in 'private sphere' debate

- Every now and then, Iranian media outlets are full of news and analysis about the boundaries between the "private" and "public" spheres. The most recent episode began July 7, when Mohammad Tarahomi, legal affairs traffic police deputy, announced that personal vehicles are not considered a "private sphere" and are thus subject to all public regulations, including mandatory veiling. -Mahmoud Pargoo, Al-Monitor - 7/23/17

Shahnameh audiobook, with introduction by Francis Ford Coppola, released

- An audio version of the Shahnameh, the epic masterpiece of Persian poet Ferdowsi, has been released in English with an introduction by U.S. filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola in the United States. American voice actor Marc Thompson has narrated the stories based on the latest translation by Ahmad Sadri published by Quantuck Lane Press in 2013, Kingorama, the U.S.-based publisher of "Shahnameh, the Epic of the Persian Kings", has announced. - 7/17/17

Touraj Daryaee: Uncovering the Splendor of Ancient Iran

- With the goal of harnessing the untapped potential of Iranian-Americans, and to build the capacity of the Iranian diaspora in effecting positive change in the U.S. and around the world, the Iranian Americans' Contributions Project (IACP) has launched a series of interviews that explore the personal and professional backgrounds of prominent Iranian-Americans who have made seminal contributions to their fields of endeavor. - Jahandad Memarian, Huffington Post - 7/5/17

Tehran Book Garden, a major center for publications, inaugurated

- Tehran Book Garden, covering an area of 110,000 square meters on Abbasabad Hills in the northeast of the city, opened during a special ceremony on Monday. The garden with 10 theaters and amphitheaters will provide a good opportunity for the families and children to study and dedicate some time for book reading. Permanent bookshops, an art gallery, shops offering cultural products, children's halls and workshops, as well as a robotics club, have also been included in the big project. - 7/5/17

30th International Children Film Festival kicks off in Isfahan, Iran

- The 30th International Film Festival for Children and Youth opened Thursday night in the city of Isfahan in central Iran. The international event brings audiences a packed seven days of films for children. The festival is will run from June 30 to July 6. More than 50 films have been accepted to the festival, and guests from 44 countries are expected to participate. - 6/30/17

French Iranologist Gilbert Lazard to receive Mahmud Afshar Award

- French linguist and Iranologist Gilbert Lazard will receive Iran's Mahmud Afshar Historical Literary Award for his lifetime endeavors and research on various Iranian languages and translations of classical Persian poetry. The award committee of the Mahmud Afshar Foundation selected Lazard for the 24th edition of the award this year. - 6/29/17

Manijeh Mir-Emadi, Iranian artist and founder of Tavoos Art Magazine, has departed this world

- Sorrowfully, Manijeh Mir-Emadi (Naseri) painter, the founder and editor in chief of the first bilingual art magazine of Iran and Iranian Art Publishing left this world on the early hours of Saturday June 10, 2017. - 6/12/17

Immigrant-Americans With Support From Over A Million People Worldwide Create A Monument To Humanity In Los Angeles

- The Farhang Foundation, a nonpolitical, nonreligious, not-for-profit Iranian-American cultural foundation, is proud to announce that The Freedom Sculpture: Freedom a Shared Dream, a monument honoring core American values of freedom, cultural diversity and unity, has raised more than $2.2 million, nearing the minimum goal of $2.5 million needed to complete the project. With over a million supporters from more than 50 countries following its progress on social media, the Freedom Sculpture has also become the most crowd-supported public monument gifted in U.S. history. - 6/11/17

Bay Area chef circles back to childhood with Persian breads

- Hanif Sadr grabs a baseball-size chunk of dough, flattening it into a circle. He's making kolaas, a yeast-raised Iranian flatbread of his youth, at his Berkeley home and test kitchen. The fingers on his right hand curl down, making it look like a bear claw. As his left hand deftly rotates the circle of dough, his bear claw flattens and stretches it. "This is called panje kesh, an Iranian technique to shape the dough with fingers," he tells me. -Leena Trivedi-Grenier, San Francisco Chronicle - 6/8/17

Iranian Artists, Activists Send Letter to President Rouhani Demanding Release of Imprisoned Music Producers

- Two Iranian artists will have been behind bars for a full year as of June 5, sentenced for their peaceful artistic activities. Today, artists and supporters of artistic freedom from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East called for their release in an open letter sent by Freemuse and the Center for Human Rights in Iran to newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani. - 6/2/17

AIC Partners with Educational Non-Profit ProjectExplorer.org to Create Film Series in Iran

- AIC is partnering with the award-winning educational non-profit, ProjectExplorer.org, to send a small film crew to Iran in Spring 2018 to produce a series of short, high-quality, educational videos about everyday life in Iran. - 6/1/17

The believers of Jewish religion exceed four billion worldwide!

- Judaism, the very original Arch of the Covenant for the three Abrahamic monotheistic religions of Jewish, Christianity and Islam, is now ubiquitously practiced, observed or the least affiliated in name with, by well over four billion inhabitants, i.e., more than two-third of the world population who identify themselves with any religion worldwide. -Rachel Eliasi Kohan - 5/31/17

Photos: The Smile Of Poverty

- Poverty has a bitter name. However, the people who live in the southern part of Kerman province of Iran have gotten used to it. There is so much poverty all over the place that its absence anywhere will look odd. The men and women of the villages are used to lack of basic amenities such as water, electricity, gas or sanitation. -Shahaboldin Ghayoumi - 5/30/17

Iran's Politics Color Ramadan Prayer Dispute

- A debate over the potential return of one of Iran's greatest classical singers for a prayer recitation has provided a fresh test of the hard-line domination of state TV nearly a decade after unrest that roiled the country's establishment. The performance of Rabbana by Mohammad Reza Shajarian was a Ramadan fixture for three decades before it was eliminated from programming after comments by Shajarian that were sympathetic to reformist critics of Iran's 2009 presidential election. - 5/30/17

Nine Iranian American Receive Ellis Island Medal of Honor

- On May 13th, 2017 nine highly accomplished Iranian Americans, including IA-100 member Mohammed Farzaneh, were awarded the 2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honor for outstanding achievement in their personal and professional lives, as well as their commitment to the preservation of their Iranian culture and heritage and noteworthy citizenship to the United States. - 5/27/17

Photos: Magnitude 5.7 Quake In Northeastern Iran Kills Two, Injures Hundreds

- A 5.7-magnitude earthquake that shook the northeastern province of North Khorasan on Saturday night claimed two lives and left more than 400 injured. The earthquake hit 3 cities and 97 villages of the province at 22:30 local time which was followed by 26 aftershocks. - 5/15/17

Iran: The Sanctions Hotel

- At the height of Iran's isolation, a fashion designer and an architect attempt to turn an old mud palace into a hotel. This film chronicles the five-year struggle of architect Amir Anoushfar and designer Shadi Parand to preserve one of Iran's largest historical buildings by turning it into an international boutique hotel. -Al Jazeera - 5/15/17

Iran's coal mine blast tragedy, day 4: 13 bodies still missing

- Searches continued into the fourth day to find the remaining 13 bodies trapped after a blast hit a coal mine in the northeastern province of Golestan on Wednesday. Following a blast in Zemestanyurt mine, 35 workers who were inside the mine at the time of explosion are believed to be dead while so far 22 bodies have been found. - 5/6/17

Tehran Book Fair opens with message from Italian president

- The 30th Tehran International Book Fair opened on Tuesday with a message from Sergio Mattarella, the president of Italy as the event's guest of honor. In his message, Mattarella said that he feels honored that his country is the special guest of the cultural event. - 5/3/17

PHOTOS: Magnificent tile-work at Mo'aven al-Molk shrine in Kermanshah, Iran

- The Takieh Mo'aven ol-Molk is Iran's finest Hosseinieh, a distinctively Shiite shrine where plays are acted out during the Islamic month of Moharram to commemorate the martyrdom in 680 of Imam Hossein at Karbala. Enter downstairs, through a courtyard and a domed central chamber decorated with grisly scenes from the Karbala battle. -Vahid Hoseini - 5/1/17

Tolerance historically practiced in Iran: Jewish lawmaker

- Not like in the Western world where it was belatedly introduced, tolerance has been practiced in the historically multicultural context of Iran, where the Jewish community have been living in peaceful coexistence with other populations for centuries, Siamak Moreh Sedgh, the Jewish community representative in Majlis (Parliament), says. - 4/26/17

"In order to Create, One must First Destroy": An Interview with Parvaneh Etemadi

- According to Parvaneh Etemadi, she has acquired Bahman Mohassess' taste and Jalal Al-Ahmad's courage. She is Frank. Yet, frankness is just one of her personality. She challenges the current form of knowledge and cognition and expresses far-fetched concepts with new modules, which provokes positive and negative reactions to her approach. Last year, her name appeared on the 11th list of 500 artists of the world together with four other Iranian artists, Farhad Moshiri, Reza Derakhshani, Ali Banisadr and Shirin Neshat - 4/25/17

Muslims in Abadan, Iran join city's only Christian to celebrate Easter

- Abadan's only church, Surp Karap, is adjacent to Musa ibn Jafar Mosque. Surp Karap Church was built in 1940 and damaged during the Iraq-Iran war. The church was renovated in 1991 and registered as national heritage. On Sunday, Muslims joined the single Christian citizen in the city to mark Easter. - 4/17/17

From Isfahan to Irvine: Speech, Film Screening & Music Performance at Stanford University

- Hossein Omoumi is a scholar and musician from Isfahan, Iran. He currently teaches at UC Irvine. A new documentary about his life, made by Hesam Abedimi, and innovative teaching style will also be screened (in Farsi with English subtitles). After, Hossein will discuss and demonstrate the structure of classical Persian music by singing and playing the Ney, with vocals from Jessika Kenney, santur accompaniment from Faraz Minooie, and Sina Dehghani playing the tombak. - 4/17/17

VACATION IN IRAN

- In the nineteen-eighties, when I was a child, my family rarely took vacations. There had been a revolution in Iran, and there was a war on. Most of our trips were to the gardens of family and friends; a couple of times we went to Shomal, as the green band of forests south of the Caspian Sea is known. In those days, travelling was all about us pleasing the group. -New Yorker - 4/17/17

Photos: Easter celebration at Saint Sarkis Cathedral in Tehran

- Iran's Armenian Christian community held a ceremony at Saint Sarkis Cathedral in Tehran on Sunday April 16, 2017 to celebrate Easter. During the event, special prayers were said and candles were lit. While Iran is officially designated the "Islamic Republic," among its more than 70 million people is a small but important Christian minority. Most of Iran's Christians are Armenians and Assyrians, who remain relatively free to follow their faith. - 4/16/17

The obscure religion that shaped the West

- It has influenced Star Wars and Game of Thrones - and characters as diverse as Voltaire, Nietzsche and Freddy Mercury have cited it as an inspiration. So what is Zoroastrianism? Joobin Bekhrad finds out. -BBC - 4/9/17

Feast of Sizedeh-beh-dar: symbol of equality, brother-sisterhood

- The last day of Norooz (Persian New Year) Holidays, thought as inauspicious because of being held on the 13 day of the month, among other things is the ritual teaching equality, brother-sisterhood and paying respect to Mother Nature. - 4/3/17

In praise of Norooz: A glimpse at myths encircling Iranian New Year

- Like many other ancient traditions, Persian New Year Norooz is associated with heroes of myths and legends that revolve around such a cherished festival in the Persian calendar. Ferdowsi (940-1020 CE), an illustrious Persian poet, in his book Shahnameh (a long epic poem translated as the Book of Kings) dates Norooz as far back to the reign of Jamshid, who in Zoroastrian texts saved mankind from a harsh winter that was destined to freeze the planet. - 4/3/17

Iranians celebrate Sizdah Bedar nature festival by going outdoors

- Iranian people are celebrating Sizdah Bedar, the traditional Persian festival of nature, by spending time outdoors with family and friends. The ancient Iranian festival was held on Sunday, which this year marks the 13th day of Farvardin the first month on the Persian calendar. - 4/2/17

The unfathomable soul of Iran

- The very first time I travelled to Iran, I was absolutely amazed at how open and inclusive its community was, how safe the country was and how astonishingly beautiful. Sadly, it is blatantly misrepresented in most Western media, a tendency I would gladly counter as a journalist in the making. -Katya Bohdan - 3/31/17

NOWRUZANE: An Exchange & Celebration of the Persian New Year with Iranian, Italian and CPC Artists

- This touring exhibition is a collaboration between Chav Printmaking Studio (Iran), Milano Printmakers Associazione Culturale (Milan) and Chicago Printmakers Collaborative. The exhibit features over 130 mini prints by 96 CPC, Italian and Iranian printmakers. Multiples of these works are currently traveling and being exhibited together at the Chav Printmaking Studio in Tehran, as well as in Mashhad, Kermanshah and Kerman in Iran, at IL Fogilo - 74b Gallery in Milan, Italy and at the Sagene Kunstsmie in Oslo, Norway. - 3/30/17

UNESCO celebrates Norooz in Paris

- Norooz World Festivity was held in UNESCO headquarters in Paris with Iran's permanent representative to UNESCO sponsoring the festivity and 12 member countries of Norooz world registration dossier participating in the event. - 3/29/17

Nowruz at New York's Dare Mehr

- Nowruz, the secular Persian New Year that transcends religions, regions and borders, but instead binds humanity as one since antiquity (this year 3755,) was once again upon us. As families arrived in mostly all-white and colorful gowns to enjoy the Nowruz gala at the newly inaugurated Dare Mehr in Suffern New York, they could not help but be mesmerized by the captivating warmth of the sun shining down on them. -Davood N. Rahni - 3/28/17

The resilience of Iran's middle class

- Some argue that Iran's middle class has failed to cement any political reforms, but their creative responses to repression is reason for hope -Amirah Masnavi, Middle East Eye - 3/28/17

Photos: Persepolis Hosts Norooz Tourists

- One of the favorite destinations for Iranians traveling during the Persian New Year Norooz holidays is the the ancient ruins of Persepolis. Persepolis (Takht-e Jamshid) was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550-330 BCE). Persepolis is situated 70 km northeast of the modern city of Shiraz in the Fars Province of modern Iran. -Amin Berenjkar - 3/25/17

Photos: Celebrating Norooz in Baku, Azerbaijan

- These photos Azerbaijani people in traditional costumes taking part in a parade as part of the Norooz celebrations in Baku, Azerbaijan. International Norooz Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/64/253 of 2010, at the initiative of several countries that share this holiday (Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan. -Milad Raf'at - 3/25/17

PAAIA Hosts Annual Nowruz Celebration on Capitol Hill

- On March 20th, 2017, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) hosted its annual Nowruz reception on Capitol Hill. Fourteen members of Congress, including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, attended the reception, as well as more than 200 Congressional staff and special guests. - 3/23/17

Why It's Important Now, More Than Ever, To Celebrate Norooz

- Self-identifying and proudly displaying our heritage as Iranian Americans has always been complicated -- and this is even more pronounced in a climate of policies and political rhetoric that are anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, and anti-Muslim. Melody Ehsani reflected on how that's impacted her family, and strengthened the importance of preserving and sharing her family's Iranian and Baha'i practices -Atoosa Moinzadeh, The Fader - 3/21/17

Iranians Celebrate Ancient Festival Of Norooz Marking The New Year

- Monday, March 20th, marks the grand festival of Norooz (Nowruz). On this day, Iranians usher in the Persian New Year at the exact moment of the vernal equinox which marks the start of spring. Norooz, a festival of Persian origin, Norooz is also celebrated by hundreds of millions of people from other ethno-linguistic groups in a dozen countries. - 3/20/17

Iran rings in the New Year with message of peace

- Iran has ushered in the new Persian year of 1396, with President Hassan Rouhani underlining the need for interaction and peace in his message to the leaders of 11 countries that also mark the occasion. "The world, today more than any time, needs a hope which values affection, love and intimacy and invites countries to interaction instead of confrontation," Rouhani said on Monday in the message released by his office. - 3/20/17



Ten Thousand Miles in Persia: Or, Eight Years in Iran

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